The sixth hour had come.

Midday was upon the hill outside of Jerusalem. Three hours of being crucified. The three darkest were yet to come.

It was time to pour out fully the cursed cup for Jesus to drink. The spotless Lamb was imputed a concentration of sin this world had never seen. The
Lamb of God became the scapegoat of man. Never a more disgraceful and unholy creature was there for the Father to behold. He must turn His face from such evil; the Father’s Holiness demands it.

The sun its very self failed as the Father turned off His countenance. The Son was forsaken. Truly forsaken. It is finished.

If you’ve never heard this true story, this is called the Gospel. It’s Good News. Good because without it, we have no hope. You see, sin HAS a consequence. ALL have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God (Romans 3:23). The wages of sin is DEATH (Romans 6:23). Eternal death. God’s Love and Goodness and Holiness require it.

To love what is good is to be repulsed by what is evil. To be holy is to reject and be unblemished by what is unholy. To be just is to judge in accordance with the Good and Holy Law.

How small we should feel reading this. How exposed and tainted and cursed and hopeless. We are sinful men in the hands of an angry God. We are doomed to be forsaken by a Holy God full of Just Wrath to punish our obscene sin. A sin that has enslaved us. Defiled us. Conquered us. Signed our death warrants.

Oh but the Gospel, my brother! Oh but the Good News, my sister! A scapegoat has been given. A sacrifice has paid the ransom. The slain Lamb has risen VICTORIOUS!!!

Don’t read this and misunderstand the gift though. It was freely given. It is freely given. But not to everyone. It is freely given to only those who are in Him. To be in Christ is a life changing confession and relationship. It is a confession with the mouth that Jesus is Lord and a believing in the heart that God raised Jesus from the dead. It comes with being filled with the Spirit that will wage war against our flesh. That will not give rest in wicked ways, childish ways, worldly ways. To be in Christ is to abide in Him. To submit to His Ways, His Will, His Calling, and His Sanctifying.

This is the choice of the Gospel: to abide in Christ or to stay enslaved to sin. To live through one whose victory swallowed death and took away the power (the law) of it’s sting (sin) or to experience death eternally (1 Corinthians 15:54-57). There is truly no other option.

Praise the Father that He so love the world. Praise Jesus that He so loved the Father.

Praise the Spirit that He illuminates this Truth to us.

Amen.